QuakeLive for Linux a “High Priority”

John Carmack and id Software try shaking up the PC gaming platform.

You might have heard that a new MMPK1 known as QuakeLive came out of closed beta yesterday. In a nutshell, it’s Quake 3 in a browser via a 400MB plugin.

Currently, the plugin only works with Windows but id Software’s John Carmack told the website joystiq that the release of a OSX and Linux version was “high on my priority list”.”

Aside from being an enormous technical achievement,2 Carmack said the goal of developing QuakeLive was to introduce something new into the gaming conversation — one currently dominated by the console platform.

It’s definitely something different, a marriage of casual gameplay and 3D “Instant Action,” something that you won’t find in the majority of ubiquitous Flash games on the Internet — or on any console.

A point that we have brought up before is that one of desktop Linux’s biggest hurdles is the lack of available gaming options. Is QuakeLive the future of PC gaming? And, if it is, does this mean that Linux will have a place at the table? Maybe, but it’s probably best not to get too hopeful.

While, technically, QuakeLive is a browser plugin, it’s practically a standalone app in it’s own right (and one who’s predecessor ran under Linux). While the prospect of a level playing field in PC gaming would do a great service to Linux on the desktop, don’t expect QuakeLive to usher that era in just yet.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to kick my son off his PC so I go relive 1999.

1 Massively Muliplayer Productivity Killer

2 I remember very well the impact of the Quake 3 Arena demo when it was released. The office I was working in back then was thoroughly addicted to Quake 23 and going from Q2 to Q3 was like upgrading from bicycles to X-Wings.

3 I still sometimes hear the plink, plunk-plunk-plunk, plunk of Q2 grenades in my sleep.

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